19/04/2024

Red Bull had a successful weekend for the Spanish Grand Prix with a one, two finish for the team. Photo:@redbullracing/Twitter.

Max Verstappen has continued his hot form, winning the Spanish Grand Prix to make it three race wins in a row. Aussie Daniel Ricciardo made history in Spain to surpass Mark Webber for the most race F1 starts by an Australian.

Red Bulls Max Verstappen has made it three race wins in a row taking out the Spanish Grand Prix in style to become the new Drivers Championship leader at the Circuit de Barcelona.

Verstappen did not go at it alone with fellow Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez having a great race to finish second place and earn his third podium of the season. With the one, two result Red Bull earnt maximum points from the race with 44 after Perez pocketed the fastest lap.

Red Bull now leads the Constructors Championship 195 to 169 over Ferrari.

Red Bull did have some luck go their way with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc being forced to retire after leading the race for the opening 27 laps and Carlos Sainz having his own troubles after starting in third.

Verstappen also had his setbacks during the race when on lap nine he went wide into the gravel on turn four making him fall from second place down to fourth. The issues did not stop there for the Dutchmen who then had DRS issues with it not working consistently, making it difficult for him to get ahead of second placed George Russell.

On lap 24 Verstappen tried to make his move on Russell with his DRS working this time but was unable to stick the move, with the Brit defending the move. Red Bull and Verstappen instead decided to pit on lap 29 letting Perez try and get past Russell which he did at the start of lap 31 to get into first.

When Russell pitted on lap 36 this meant that Verstappen moved into second place with Red Bull having the top two positions for the rest of the race. The Dutchmen was able to get into first place on lap 49 after Perez let him ahead with the Dutchmen having better pace and tyres that are 6 laps younger.

Verstappen went on from there to win the Grand Prix with the rest of the podium being made up of Perez in second and Russell in third.

Verstappen now sits six points ahead of Leclerc in the Drivers Championship standings on 110 points compared to 104. Perez remains in third place with 85 points.

Ricciardo misses out on points again

This weekend’s race was history making for Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo with him breaking Mark Webber’s record for the most Grand Prix starts by an Australian with 216th race.

While historic for Ricciardo the result did not match the significance of his achievement with a lacklustre performance to finish 12th and out of the points again.

There were high hopes for Ricciardo after qualifying ninth and moving up to eighth on the opening lap of the Grand Prix. However Ricciardo was never able to progress any higher from there, falling down the grid with teammate Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunado both getting ahead of him during the opening 10 laps.

With the car lacking pace, on lap 12 McLaren pitted the Aussie with him coming out in 15th. Ricciardo spent the remainder of the Spanish Grand Prix floating just out of the points to finish in 12th.

Thankfully for McLaren they were able to salvage some points from the race with Norris finishing 8th to earn the team four points.

Ricciardo currently sits in 12th place in the Driver Championship having scored just 11 points this season from six race weekends. Riccardo has only finished in the points in one Grand Prix this season with that being a sixth place result in Australia with the other points coming during the sprint race in Emilia.

Norris has had a much better run of results this season having scored 39 points to sit in seventh in the Driver Championship. McLaren remains in fourth place in the Constructors Championship having scored 50 points as a team.  

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Leclerc powerless, Sainz redeems himself

After such a strong start to the Formula 1 season, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s luck ran out in Barcelona being forced to retire from the race after suffering power loss.

The Spanish Grand Prix look as though it was going to be another successful weekend for the Monegasque after qualifying first to start the race in pole position. While in the race Leclerc looked dominant able to hold onto first place during the chaos of the race start, where he remained until forced to retire.

No one was able to match the pace of Leclerc early on who lap by lap extended his lead to the point where we had 30 plus second lead over the then second placed George Russell by lap 18. This meant that by the time he did pit on lap 22 he had such a large lead he still came out in first with a five second lead over second placed Russell.

This success was short-lived following the pit stop when on lap 27 his Ferrari lost power forcing him to limp back to the pits with his day done.

The result was not ideal for Leclerc with him now falling to second in the Driver Championship Standings.

Prior to Leclerc’s misfortune, teammate Carlos Sainz also found himself in a spot of bother losing control of his car and spinning into the gravel going into turn four on lap seven, falling to 11th. Sainz had already struggled earlier in the race having started in third but being slow off the blocks to fall to fifth before the first turn.

After having pitted on lap 11 Sainz came out in 15th with plenty of work to do to try and salvage something from the race in front of his home fans. The Spaniard did just that, picking off drivers one by one to get to fifth by lap 32.

Having worked his way back into the top five Sainz was challenged near the end of the race with Lewis Hamilton and him battling for fourth place, however the 27 year old made sure to not let his hard work go to waste, able to hold on. With the fourth place finish Sainz earnt 12 points for the team.

Plenty of positives for Mercedes

While Red Bull and Ferrari have been the two teams leading the way this season, Mercedes has quietly remained competitive due in part to George Russell who has finished in the top five in every race this season.

It was no different in Spain with Russell again performing better than Lewis Hamilton with a third place result and second podium of 2022.

Russell got to work as soon as the race began, getting ahead of Carlos Sainz to be in third place by the first turn of the race. Russell remained at the top of the grid for the remainder of the race having to contend with both Red Bull drivers.

Hamilton’s race did not go as smoothly with the seven-time World Champion colliding with Kevin Magnussen at the beginning of the race, forcing the Haas driver off the track while he had to pit making him drop down to 19th.

Hamilton struggled from there to make up places only getting as high as 15th before pitting again on lap 24. The British driver then showed his class through the following 11 laps going from 19th up to seventh by lap 36, giving him still 30 laps to continue to climb the grid.

The Mercedes driver did exactly that, moving up the grid and battling for fourth place with Sainz on the final six laps of the race. Hamilton was unable to secure the position and move ahead of the Spanish driver, finishing in fifth and earning 10 points.

All in all, Mercedes had a successful weekend with both drivers finishing higher than where they began the race, able to score 25 points as a team.

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